“Drew?” Frau Thesing enquired as the snow encrusted figure dripped into the bakery.
“Morning Con, Mrs T, sorry I'm late I got caught out when the snow came.” I managed between trembling and shaking.
“Mom, I'm taking Gabs up to change.”
“Okay dear, I'm not going out today anyway. Get her warmed up too.”
“We'll be as quick as.”
I found myself herded up to the apartment above and into the bathroom.
“Get a shower, I'll find you some stuff to wear, leave your wet stuff outside the door.”
I stripped out of my cycling kit, it wasn't that I was soaked, I wasn't really that wet thanks to my Gore-Tex© jacket and bibs, rather I was cold, from my finger ends to the pit of my stomach, my legs were blue and I couldn't really feel my feet.
The shower was painful at first, I had to turn the temperature right down until I started thawing out then gradually put it back up. The action of soaping up helped getting the circulation going again.
“Drew? I've put you some stuff outside the door for you to wear.” Con called round the door edge.
“I'll see you downstairs.”
“Ok.” I agreed.
I turned the shower off and wrapped a towel around me then recovered the clothes before getting dried off. Well of course, Con being Con had found me some warm stuff to wear, the fact it was based around a needle cord skirt and a distinctly girly jumper wasn't the point! Mind you I could see why she chose this stuff, she is like inches taller than me and bigger everywhere else too but the skirt had a sort of corset panel at the waist, which allowed it to snug up for a reasonable fit, at least it came to my knees! She'd found a bra that wasn't too big and although the shoes were a size too big by doing up the straps a bit tight kept them on reasonably well.
“Better?” Con enquired passing me a cup of coffee.
“Much.” I agreed.
“You're bike's around back in the shed.”
“Thanks Frau Thesing.”
“Can I leave you two to it? I have some stuff I need to do upstairs.”
“Sure mom, we usually cope.”
My employer left leaving just the two of us in the shop.
“Sorry for this.”
“No worry, it's been quiet anyway, no one wants to come out in the snow.”
I stood warming my hands on my cup watching the snow falling outside.
“I like snow, Mum reckons its because it was snowing when I was born.”
“Its your birthday soon?”
“Next week, Wednesday the 25th.”
“We should have a party.” She enthused.
The arrival of a customer disrupted the conversation and heralded a not busy but continuous stream of visitors to the haven of Thesing's Bäckerei .
White stuff continued to fall all afternoon not hard but enough to build up nearly thirty centimetres by the time we closed up.
“I ought to get home.”
“No Tatort ? And its roasted lamb for dinner.”
It was tempting, really tempting.
“Oh go on then.”
I'm glad I did, the lamb was excellent even if there wasn't any mint sauce or Yorkshire pud! And Tatort! Well what an episode, there was some sort of mad assassin on the loose in Berlin while the Love Parade was on. I'm not sure quite why he was shooting people but the good guys eventually tracked him down and after a chase through the crowds finally got their man.
“You are not going out there in this.” Frau Thesing stated.
Outside the weather had taken a turn for the worst, the gently swirling snowflakes had at some time evolved into a full-blown blizzard! Whilst I quite like snow even I know when fun becomes stupid, I might be many things but that's not one of them.
“Looks like you're staying the night.” Connie needlessly pointed out.
“I'd best ring Dad”
“Go ahead Drew, you know where the phone is.”
I awoke with a start, where was I?
“Aaargh!” there was someone else in the bed, someone very close indeed with their arm over my chest.”
Closer inspection revealed the body to be Connie. I'm in bed with Connie? Shitza! “Aaargh!”
“Whe? What?” Con managed, “oh its you, mornin' Drew.”
“Morning, er how come we, er you and me, together?” I managed to string together.
“It was cold, I thought we could keep each other warm, I think it worked.”
Frau Thesing pushing the door broke this line of thought open.
“Time to get up girls.”
I was caught in a right situation now, one that I was not really prepared for.
“Come on Gabs, shake a leg.”
Not having a great deal of choice in the matter I reluctantly donned the stuff I borrowed the day before, well Con did supply fresh knickers so it wasn't too gross.
Outside it was, as the carol would have it, ‘deep and crisp and even'. No bike ride to school today, that's if we go of course. Mind you it was still early, barely seven o'clock but of course it was still pretty much dark.
“I'll have to go home for my school stuff.” And to get changed!
“Breakfast first, then you can borrow my winter boots.”
It's not really that far from the bakery to my house, two minutes by bike but wearing too big boots and pushing my road bike through almost knee high snow took considerably longer!
“Ah the proverbial um daughter returns.” Dad mentioned as I arrived in the kitchen.
“Morning kiddo, you're going to be late for school.”
“I'll be lucky to get there at all, have you seen it out there?”
“I took a walk out to the station with Jules, the main road's open. Tell you what, get your stuff and I'll drop you off, I've got to go down to the office anyhow.”
“Thanks, I'd best let Connie know.” Damn I was hoping to skive today.
“If she gets herself to the petrol station she come catch a lift too, I'll go start the car.
That meant I'd have about five minutes, bum!
I pulled Con's boots off and thumbed my phone into action as I headed for my room.
“Con? Drew. Yeah I only just got here, you want a lift, Dad's gonna take us…yeah at the Tankstelle in ten minutes. See you then, Tschuss!”
I searched through my schoolbag, evicted several tomes and found some more.
Bugger! I grabbed my bag and charged downstairs grabbing a coat as I passed. Shoes, shoes, where are they, ah, they'll do. I rammed my feet into what I thought were my spare school shoes and slamming the door behind me left the house.
Dad just rolled his eyes as I slid in next to him.
“What took you? No don't answer.”
“Sorry, I couldn't find my German lit essay.”
Dad eased the Saab away from the house, already I could feel my seat warming up – every car should have heated seats! Yes we still have the Saab, it's a reminder of home but it's also a very nice car. The lane out to the main road was passable with care but once there our way was clear if busy. Connie was stood stamping her feet by the garage and was at the kerb by the time we stopped.
“Danke Herr Bond.”
“No problem Connie, I was going into town anyway.”
I was still thawing out from my extended walk in the snow, but I was getting some feeling back in my feet at least, the heater was belting out warm air. All too soon Dad was pulling up outside of school, it seems like everyone was caught out by the weather, we were far from the last students heading in.
“See you at lunch Drew.”
“Bum I forgot about lunch.”
“We can get something in the refectory, bye-ee”
I headed towards my own homeroom and made it just as the second bell sounded. I shuffled across to my desk and with a sigh sank into my seat.
“Thought you weren't gonna make it.” Steff stated.
“It's a long story, Dad dropped me an' Con off.”
“Okay people, Anderson?” Fr. Dürst started the attendance roll.
I was sure I was getting some funny looks during homeroom but goodness knows why.
“Come on you're always Wollversammlung! “ Steff chuckled, “Chemistry sucks.”
“So like how come on the worst day of winter you decide to wear a skirt to school?” Steff enquired as we started the walk to the chemistry lab.
“Huh? I didn't…oh shitza!”
“Dad was rushing me and I forgot to change.”
Bum, bum, bum!
“Well you look nice, it suits you.”
“I thought I was getting some strange looks.”
“I guess people were surprised, after all you normally wear jeans or cargo's.”
“But everyone will think I'm a girl!”
“Well duh! No more than before.”
“Which means mein Liebchen, they always did.”
“But nothing, most people have seen you gussied up out of school, they are just a little surprised to see you looking so girly in school, like the shoes by the way.”
I looked at my feet, nooo! Not my shoes at all but Goth Girls Skechers . I wanted to scream, I hate snow! Why didn't Dad say anything? Now I'm gonna have to spend the day dressed like this.
As I was apparently the only student in school not wearing trousers today I stood out like a sore thumb and I'm sure quite a lot were giving me the once over, not a nice thought. I did catch Max staring at my legs during German, he really is a letch. Which reminded me of Saturday night, oh bum! Am I doomed to be Gab not Drew, not me?
Maddy Bell 02.12.08 © 2008
Back to Chapter 6.07 On to Chapter 6.09 Back to The Library